Fire rips through the McDonald's in Waterford and leaves dozens of people without work just weeks before the holidays. Madeleine Rivera joins us now from Waterford with the latest.
WATERFORD, N.Y. -- The popular restaurant is in shambles, after an early morning fire Saturday left nothing but charred wood and broken glass.
"I said Good morning, Christina, and she said, probably not," Roger Grout, Franchise Owner.
He sped to the restaurant after one of his employees called him about the fire around 3:30 a.m.
"The store was pretty well engulfed," he said.
Six fire companies from neighboring towns fought the blaze for nearly two hours. The four employees in the building weren't hurt. But, the damage to the building was extensive.
"When we drove by, we saw, we're like the McDonalds burned down, we didn't even know," said Linda Skiba, a Waterford resident.
All day, people stopped to see the restaurant. It's stood here for more than 30 years.
"These restaurants, the five I own are like children to me," said Grout.
He says he's determined to rebuild the restaurant, whether on this same location or elsewhere. He also says he'll place the more than hundred employees who worked here in his other restaurants.
"Obviously, this is a difficult time of year, especially with the holidays," he said.
It's also a difficult time for the residents, who loved this restaurant, including Linda Skiba's son.
"He hasn't seen it. But I'm sure he'll be sad," she said.
Fire Officials say they believe the fire started in the fryer section of the building then got into the ventilation system. The roof collapsed a short time later.